Developer forum is a monthly recurring digital event where the Navelink users and stakeholders share development progress and coming focus areas. The main topics discussed during the latest Navelink Developer forum, held on the 24th of November 2022, were the impact of VDES, the Digital Incubator and important updates and implementations regarding the Maritime Service Registry, the G1128 schemas and the MRN pattern changes. 

 

VHF Data Exchange System (VDES)  

Stefan Pielmeier, founder and CTO at Sternula, presented the latest news on VHF Data Exchange (VDES). He describes VDES as AIS 2.0 or “AIS on steroids.” The aim of VDES is to fix the common problems occurring with AIS, such as the AIS bandwidth being too narrow for its number of users, and different AIS equipment not communicating with each other. To solve this, the bandwidth of VDES is much broader than that of AIS. Further, VDES providers stress the importance of authority-regulated data formats on ECDIS and of the equipment itself. VDES therefore develops with integration to the Maritime Connectivity Platform and MMS in mind throughout the whole development process. 

VDES providers also aim to offload ASM traffic from the crowded AIS channels through offering seamless integration to additional channels such as: 

  • Connecting VHF Data Exchange with Terrestrial communication; VDE-TER on the 200 kHz bandwidth, enabling ship-ship, ship-shore, and shore-shore communication, 
  • Connecting VHF Data Exchange with Satellite communication; VDE-SAT on the 100 kHz and 300 kHz bandwidths, enabling ship-satellite and satellite-ship communication. 

The aim of implementing VDES is also to enable any ship to be within communication reach anywhere in the world, regardless of Internet access on board. Cooperation among satellite communication providers would make roaming a possible solution to accomplish a global reach early. 

According to Stefan Pielmeier, VDES is expected to be included in the IMO SOLAS IV and V during the next 24 months, strongly contributing to VDES being aboard all SOLAS ships within the next 10-15 years. 

 

Digital Incubator 

Thomas Christensen, Secretary General of MCC, gave insight to Digital Incubator, an initiative in collaboration with IALA, aiming to implement services that are currently in the specification phase. These services include technical services such as aids to navigation services, vessel traffic services (VTS) and navigational warnings. Navelink sees great value in this initiative and will keep customers and partners updated about future Digital Incubator events.  

 

Upgrades and implementations 

The current development activities within Navelink focus on: 

  • the upgrade of the Maritime Service Registry, MSR, to .NET 6, 
  • the implementation of G1128 schemas into the Test and Development environments, which is planned for the beginning of December, and pending the results later also in the Operational environment, and 
  • the implementation of the MRN pattern changes.  

Due to the two-year validity of client certificates, we encourage our customers to review the status on their certificates and update all certificates to the latest version. If you have any questions regarding the upgrades and implementations or if you need support with any updates, please contact info@navelink.org 

Our next Developer Forum will be held on the 15th of December 2022 at 14:00h CET. For this event, one of the main topics will be exploring how VDES and the existing services within Navelink will be used together to achieve the best results for our clients. 

 

See you next time. 

Navelink team 

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